Motivation Running Low? Maintaining it for the long haul climb toward your goals.
Staying on path toward your goals takes motivation… by the truckload. Getting it can be easy. Keeping it, well… not so much.
The word itself comes from the Latin word movere – “to move.” But “moving forward” when you would rather plant yourself on the couch with a bucket of butter popcorn and watch reruns of The Simpsons is no easy task.
So what to do? While there is no one off secret recipe I’ve found these six the most powerful. I hope you will also.
I’m sure that you, like me, have started out toward a goal all pumped up, excited and ready to jump into the challenges of achieving it with enthusiastic gusto… for a while.
Whether it’s a professional or a personal goal that you’ve set for yourself, staying motivated over the long haul is easier said than done.
Not only do you have to be disciplined enough to put in the hard work and courageous enough to keep stepping outside your comfort zone, but you have to be resilient enough to continually bounce back from the inevitable setbacks that happen when you do.
The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t isn’t their talent or brilliance, luck or lack thereof. It’s their ability to stay in action when the going gets tough, motivation wanes and the path of least resistance grows more and more alluring. Successful people do things others don’t. Will you?
Motivation demands daily effort to get, and sometimes-hourly effort to maintain. Particularly when your plans go to pot, your hard work goes unrewarded, and people let you down, pull your down or both.
While there is no one off secret recipe for keeping motivation when you feel like throwing in the towel, there are numerous strategies you can use to stay on track toward your goals and aspirations. I’ve found these six the most powerful and I hope you will also.
1. Know Your Why
There is no more powerful source of motivation than clear sense of purpose and vision for what you what you want to create. It must be big enough to inspire you even if it simultaneously scares you. When you are really clear about why you want to achieve your goal, giving up on it is simply not an option. To paraphrase Nietzsche, Know your Why and you will figure out any How.
2. Design Your Environment
Never underestimate the power of your environment to help or hinder you in building the business you want. Whether it be the set up of your office, the people you work or socialize with, or even your computer software, when you have an environment – physical, mental and emotional – that sets you up to succeed, it helps you manage your time and commitments effectively, stay focused on what matters most, and moving forward with a fire in your belly that inspires those around you to do the same.
3. Focus Forward
One of the best de-motivators is dwelling on past regrets and upsets. They siphon off precious energy that would be far better expended on the future. Past failures don’t define you, your response today does. So learn the lessons they hold, but don’t dwell on them. Every day provides you with a fresh opportunity to build a business that brings you prosperity and meaning, and provides value to others. Seize it. Boldly.
4. Sharpen Your Axe
Abraham Lincoln wrote that if he had 8 hours to chop down a tree, he’s spend the first 7 sharpening his axe. It’s human nature to want things to happen at once. But building a business usually requires a lot of effort over a long period of time. So break down your vision down into distinct goals, and your goals down into doable steps. Then as you go along, take time out from the busy-ness of running your business to “sharpen your axe,” celebrate your progress, and decide how you best want to proceed. It will not only enable you to recharge, but to move forward more effectively, efficiently and with more motivation than ever.
5. Run Your Own Race
Competitor analysis is one thing, but continually comparing yourself with others is a highly effective way to demotivate yourself. Most the time comparing just leaves us feeling “less than” in some way. So focus on what you want to do, and do it as well as you can. No one has the same combination of talent, experience and passion as you. Make the most of where you are today, run your own race and let others run theirs.
6. Stay in Action, No Matter What
When you come to a hurdle, or just feel like giving in to resignation or despair, take one more step forward – however small. Don’t think about far off you are from your goal, just take the next step toward it. As I wrote in Find Your Courage, “Life rewards action. Always has, always will.” The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t isn’t their talent or brilliance, luck or lack thereof. It’s their ability to stay in action when the going gets tough, motivation wanes and the path of least resistance grows more and more alluring. Successful people do things others don’t. Will you?